Who What Where

I took a linguistics class in college. I loved it.  Between that and the French class I had that semester I could phonetically spell the pants off anything said to me.  Unfortunately my phonetic spelling skillz faded with disuse and by the time I had small children pronouncing things in funny ways I didn’t remember how to write them.  

Anyway, in that class we talked a bit about childhood language development.  I don’t remember any of the technical terms but I learned that sometimes kids say something correctly but they don’t know it’s correct so they may move on and try a few other things before coming back to saying the correct way.   
What I just wrote; is that nonsense? I’m not sure.  I tried so many different ways of saying what I mean that I can’t tell anymore. What does this say about my linguistic development?
Anyway, Moo.
She points at people in the store and asks me “What’s that?”  My standard answer is “I don’t know his/her name,”  Either that or I try to creatively turn the conversation in such a way that the person to whom she was referring will not realize that they’ve just been called a “what” rather than a “who.” 
Next she started asking when I’m on the phone “Mom, what’s that?” I, being myself, can’t just answer the question I know shes trying to ask, instead I answer the question she actually asks. “It’s a phone.” I say. After a few repetitions of that she come’s back with “NO what’s THAT!” and eventually I act surprised and say “Oh, you mean who’s that? You want to know who I was talking to?”  So we’ve had a chat or five about how peoples are whos not whats.  Then we had a new development.
I was changing a diaper when she walked into the room. “Who’s that smell?” she asked me.    


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *